1. Home
  2. Planning
  3. Cruise Policies and Inside Info
  4. Royal Caribbean's Radiance-class Ships
Radiance of the Seas (Photo: Royal Caribbean)
Radiance of the Seas (Photo: Royal Caribbean)

Royal Caribbean's Radiance-class Ships

Built between 2001 and 2004, Royal Caribbean's midsized (approximately 2,000 passengers) Radiance-class ships are characterized by the sheer amount of interior spaces enclosed in glass, providing nearly nonstop views of the ocean. With over 3 acres of glass on each ship, cruisers can see the ocean from almost any vantage point, whether on a glass exterior-view elevator, in the two-level glass-enclosed dining room or lounging beneath a retractable glass roof by one of the Radiance-class ship's three pools.

Updated February 16, 2018

Radiance-Class Ships

  • Brilliance of the Seas
  • Jewel of the Seas
  • Radiance of the Seas
  • Serenade of the Seas

Radiance-Class Amenities

Because they are smaller, the Radiance-class ships have less to offer in the way of bells and whistles than Royal Caribbean's newer -- and bigger -- ships. Cruisers will find rock climbing walls and mini-golf courses onboard the four Radiance-class ships, as well as three pools, three whirlpools and the adults-only Solarium, but no adrenaline-pumping on-deck activities like surfing or skydiving. Fun on Radiance-class ships is had primarily through traditional cruise ship activities like trivia, bingo, silly pool games and dance classes.

Most Radiance-class ships have a decent selection of eateries, though which restaurants are available varies from ship to ship. (Jewel of the Seas has the smallest selection.) At the very least, all Radiance-class ships have a Chops Grille, Izumi and Giovanni's Table; all also have the grab-and-go Cafe Latte-Tudes, for extra-fee specialty coffees and pastries.

All four ships have the popular Viking Crown Lounge, which has been phased out on many other Royal Caribbean ships.

Differences Among Radiance-Class Ships

Brilliance, Radiance and Serenade of the Seas have the most included and extra-fee dining options, while Jewel of the Seas has the least. Brilliance and Radiance of the Seas have a Park Cafe and Rita's Cantina; Radiance also has a Samba Grill and Boardwalk Dog House -- the only Radiance-class ship with those two eateries. Serenade of the Seas has a Park Cafe.

In addition to the Schooner Bar, which all the ships have, Brilliance and Serenade of the Seas have R Bar, Vintages Wine Bar and an English-style pub. Jewel of the Seas has the Vintages Wine Bar, and Radiance of the Seas has an English-style pub and a Champagne Bar.

Brilliance, Radiance and Serenade also feature a Royal Babies & Tots Nursery, with for-fee babysitting, while Jewel of the Seas does not.

Best For

The four Radiance-class ships are best for cruisers looking for a smaller mainstream ship with a focus on relaxation and casual fun. If you're looking for the Royal Caribbean you see in TV commercials, you won't get it on the Radiance-class ships. But, if you don't need a lot of stimulation, can be content with port visits and some old-fashioned cruise entertainment, the Radiance-class ships could be a great choice.

Radiance-class ships are typically stationed overseas, in Europe or the South Pacific, so might be the right choice for cruisers driven by destination, rather than shipboard amenities.

Cruises on Radiance-class ships tend to be more moderately priced than those on Freedom-, Oasis- and Quantum-class ships, but more expensive than those on Sovereign- and Vision-class ships.

Popular on Cruise Critic

Secrets the Cruise Lines Don't Tell You
Cruise ship life can be a little mysterious. Your choices aren't always spelled out in black and white. The more you cruise, the more you pick up on the unofficial secrets the cruise lines don't tell you -- which give you more options, let you save money and generally allow you to have a better time onboard. Maybe it's knowing what your cabin steward is able to bring you or what the off-the-menu items are at the bar or dining room. Or perhaps it's a tip to getting a good deal on an onboard purchase. But why wait to figure these things out the hard way -- possibly after you've missed your chance? We trawled through all the great advice on Cruise Critic's Message Boards to bring you some of the worst-kept cruise secrets ... at least among our readers who love to share. But whether you're a first-time cruiser or an old sea dog, you might find there's something here you didn't already know.
How to Find the Best Cruise Bargains in 2019
It's the end of a decade, 2019, and a lot has changed in the world of cruising -- race cars, haute cuisine, digital everything -- but some tips on how to save on your next sailing stay tried and true. To uncover the best ways to land a cruise bargain this year, we spoke to travel agent experts and consulted industry surveys. What we found is that cruising shows no signs of slowing down, but getting on the right ship to the right destination might mean taking quick action. We've narrowed down the who, what, where and when of finding the best cruise deals in 2019 so you can spend less money and more time enjoying the seas.
6 Best Adults-Only Cruise Sun Decks
Cruise ship sun decks offer all the convenience of loungers, hot tubs and beverage service -- and all the headaches of screaming children, rock concerts on poolside screens and live bands playing "Hot Hot Hot" for the 20th time. Adults-only sun decks offer all the former in a much more serene environment. We have nothing against kids, but even on the most family-friendly cruise ships, an area explicitly excluding children gives parents a valuable hour or two of "me time," while maintaining the sanity of fellow cruisers who came on vacation for peace, quiet and minimal crying. Adults-only sun decks come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Many have amenities not available in the main deck areas and nicer loungers or sun beds; some also require an entry fee. We have not included adults-only solariums that are strictly covered pools. If the only "whining" you want comes with dining, then consider the following six sun decks that maintain a strict adults-only ambiance.